Tag: Craig Counsell


Craig Counsell retiring, joining the Brewers’ front office


Craig Counsell don’t need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows.  With no interest in his services this offseason, he has decided to retire and will take a job with the Brewers’ front office.

Counsell is 41, which even though he’s been around forever, is older than I think of him as. That’s because he was already in his late 20s when he started to register in our baseball consciousness when he scored the winning run in the 1997 World Series. He played a good bit with the Marlins after that, but didn’t spend a full season with a full-time job until he was 30.

That was with the Diamondbacks in 2001, a year which would cement his place, such as it is, in baseball history. he was the NLCS MVP that season, going 8 for 21 and driving in four runs in five games against the Braves.  While he was only 2 for 24 in the World Series that year, he was famously hit by a Mariano Rivera pitch to load the bases for Luis Gonzalez in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game 7. And we all know what Luis Gonzalez did next.

After that he didn’t have trouble finding work for over a decade, going from Arizona to Milwaukee … and then back to Arizona … and then back to Milwaukee.  Hey, whatever worked.  For his career he posted a line of .255/.342/.344 which is useful enough for a middle infielder/third baseman. And with the caveat that fielding metrics often disagree with one another, his glove was reputed to be solid. At times excellent. He certainly seemed that way.

His career ended with something of a whimper, going hitless in four plate appearances during the 2011 postseason. This following a record-tying 45 consecutive hitless at bats during the regular season.

But you know what? There’s a saying in many professions which basically goes “you have to be something really special to screw up that many damn times.”  It’s not a backhanded compliment if you think about it. Being given an opportunity to fail big and/or to fail often means that someone trusts you, likes you and has confidence on some level that you’ll eventually succeed or that you’ll figure it out soon.  That doesn’t always happen, but it’s better to be given that chance than to have the account, the case, the task or, in Counsell’s situation, the bat, taken out of one’s hands.

Happy trails, Mr. Counsell.  You gave Craigs — and late bloomers — a good name.

Cubs hoping to hire Chris Bosio as pitching coach

bosio getty

Freshly-hired Cubs manager Dale Sveum is beginning to put together his coaching staff.

According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, Sveum has asked former big league teammate and current Triple-A manager Chris Bosio to become the Cubs’ new pitching coach. A formal interview is likely to take place after Thanksgiving weekend.

Bosio served as an advance scout for the Brewers this past season before accepting a managing gig with the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate in September. He was an interim pitching coach for Milwaukee in 2009.

Sveum has already asked hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo to return to the Cubs next season and might try to hire Craig Counsell in some capacity if the veteran infielder decides to end his playing career.

Brewers “making progress” on re-signing Craig Counsell

Craig Counsell, Ronny Cedeno

General manager Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the Brewers are “making progress” toward re-signing veteran infielder Craig Counsell to a new contract.

Counsell is a Wisconsin native and has signed or re-signed with the Brewers as a free agent on three different occasions, so it sounds like the 40-year-old sticking around is basically just a formality at this point.

While never much more than a solid utility infielder Counsell has remarkably remained as productive at 40 as he was at 30, hitting .250/.322/.319 in 230 plate appearances and a total of 35 starts this season.